The capital region’s 650th Little Free Library was unveiled Saturday on the corner of Haultain and Scott Streets.
Named the Garden View Little Free Library, it was constructed from materials and shingles recycled from creators Marthinus and Lori de Wet’s 1910 home.
“I built this little library for my lovely wife because of her love of books,” Marthinus said. “It’s also a great way to build community, something we both believe in.”
For five years, the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network has been mapping Little Free Libraries across the CRD as part of its Pocket Places Project, which also helps people install their own libraries.
The network says it has so far helped to install more than 100 little libraries and delivered 75,000 books to them across the region. More than 100 new ones were installed in the last year alone.
“Little free libraries are so much more than books,” said Teale Phelps Bondaroff, project lead for Pocket Places. “They are a place to have conversation and connect. And that’s ultimately the foundation of community.”
When Phelps Bondaroff started the project in 2017, there were 111 little libraries across Greater Victoria.
That number has grown by more than 500, and the “libraries” have expanded into niches ranging from poetry to children’s books, French books, plants, board games, puzzles, art supplies, yarn and even food.
Phelps Bondaroff, who is running for a seat on Saanich Council and the CRD, doesn’t see that expansion ending anytime soon, noting the capital region has the highest concentration of little neighbourhood libraries in Canada.
A full map of Little Free Libraries in the Capital Regional District can be found online at victoriaplacemaking.ca.